I want to be free is a report from Newcomers Youth – RFSL Youth’s project for LGBTQI youth with asylum experience. The report contains a legal review of LGBTQI youth’s asylum cases and in particular the use of reliability criteria in credibility assessments. But it also contains nine LGBTQI youth’s stories about their experiences of seeking asylum in Sweden.

The legal perspective has been combined together with the stories of the youths because the legal and the experienced reality do not always match. Since 2016, Newcomers Youth has offered asylum-seekers, newly arrived and undocumented LGBTQI youth social meeting places, and legal advice. The project’s experience after these four years is that these children and youths constitute a very vulnerable group and that they often find it difficult to safeguard their rights within the asylum system. The purpose of the report is to highlight the situation for the project’s target group and make recommendations to relevant authorities to bring about an improvement.

“I felt so good when I got to come to Sweden, then I could finally be myself. No need to be afraid for someone to be after me. But it was hard to live as an openly gay in a small town like Boden. I lived with three other men, with whom I did not feel comfortable because they came from the same culture as me and in addition, were heterosexual. I got a lot of offensive comments and no one helped me.”

David, 23 years old from Morocco

Recommendations to the Swedish Migration Agency and the migration courts within the framework of the legal review:

  • Include intersex people and intersex perspectives in the work with LGBTQ issues.
  • Evaluate the application of the detail criterion and the constancy criterion in LGBTQ cases as well as other cases where internal processes and identity journeys are to be reported on and reflected on.
  • The evaluation should include a norm-critical analysis of the application and concerning the application from a perspective that can identify hegemonic discourses. The application of these criteria should cease pending evaluation.
  • Stop the application of the criterion of general credibility and the realism criterion within the framework of the reliability assessment in LGBTQ cases.